Understanding deliveries

You are probably reading this page because you have enquired about the delivery status of your order. 

We hope to try to explain how the system works and dispel a few myths at the same time. 

 Two new alternative delivery services are now available. Click here for details:  Delivery services - more options now available. 

For general delivery enquiries, please read on:



Typical Royal Mail Sorting Office

Our current UK delivery options at the time of writing are as follows:

  • UK Economy Delivery - 3-5 working days
  • Premium - 1st Class Tracked or similar - 1-3 working days
  • Express - Next Working Day
There are two important points to understand here: 
  • The delivery times shown are Royal Mail's delivery aim - Therefore, times quoted are ESTIMATES ONLY and are not guaranteed, and should be used as a guide only.
  • Delivery time stated is from the point of dispatch, not from the point the order was received. Please allow one working day for order processing. 


For example, on the Tuesday after the Easter weekend The carriers will have 4 days' of mail to collect and deliver with exactly the same resources as they usually have, so backlogs take time to clear and will cause delays for up to 1-2 weeks after the holiday weekend. 

Why are delivery times estimated?

Deliveries are estimated for several reasons. Like most retailers we do not actually operate a delivery service. We use an external carrier, such as Royal Mail. Nobody can guarantee a delivery time because it can depend on a very long list of potential problems, from vehicles breaking down, stuck in a lengthy traffic jam or driver taken ill, to problems due to bad weather, staff shortages or machinery breakdowns. So it's impossible for us to quote delivery times for a service operated by another company, which is obviously completely beyond our control. 

What's the difference between the point of order receipt and the point of dispatch?

The "point of order" is the time we receive your order. The "point of dispatch" is the time your order is actually dispatched to you. This is particularly important to understand if you have selected the express Next Day service - "Next Day" means the next working day from the dispatch date, not from the time the order was placed.

We aim to dispatch all orders on the same working day if ordered by 2 p.m. (not including weekends and bank holidays), but this is not guaranteed and will vary especially at busy times, in which case your order will usually be dispatched next working day. Priority will be given to Express and 1st Class orders. 

What about tracking?

For all UK services except Economy you will usually be given a tracking number on your Dispatch Notification email. For Royal Mail services, this will generally tell you when the item has been collected from us, and when it is due out for delivery to you, or when it has been delivered. 

Royal Mail's tracking service is not the most comprehensive and is not always updated in real time, and it can take up to 24 hours for your order to appear on their tracking system. This is done when the item is first sorted and scanned by the company, not when it is collected. 

In most cases Royal Mail tracking will not tell you where your item is or when it will be delivered, unless it is out for delivery on that day. 

IMPORTANT - Tracking messages

You may see the following messages on Royal Mail's Track and Trace site:

1. "An update will only be provided when we attempt to deliver your item", or

2. "Sorry, we're unable to confirm the status of your item"

Many people misinterpret the first one as meaning that the tracking number hasn't been recognised. That is not correct. The first message means exactly what it says, that they will update the tracking status when they attempt to deliver the item. In most cases that will either be when it has been delivered, unless they are unable to deliver, for example if nobody is home. In that case they will leave you a card with instructions on how to rebook your delivery. 

The second one, "unable to confirm the status", simply means they don't know where it is at that point, and this is often the case when an item has been collected but not yet gone through the sorting machines so hasn't been scanned. This is very common, and a small but significant percentage of items are never scanned at all.  

For Economy delivery, items are scanned and located at the delivery point via GPS services but there is usually no visible tracking number, as Royal Mail use a customised QR code to scan the parcel.  

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT WE CAN NOT GIVE YOU ANY MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU CAN SEE ON THE TRACKING SITE, AND AS SUCH WE CAN NOT RESPOND TO FURTHER MESSAGES ASKING WHERE YOUR ITEM IS, OR WHEN IT WILL BE DELIVERED - Quite simply, we have no more idea than you would if you had posted an item to somebody; we do not have access to any other information other than for fraud prevention. 

What happens if several days have passed and I have not received the item?

As per the details in our Terms of Sale, if your order has not arrived we have to allow "10 working days from the point of expected delivery"

(UK Mainland only, allow up to 30 days for offshore islands and 45 days for EU destinations). For any other destination please contact us,.

Those are the terms laid down by Royal Mail, and should we use a different carrier (as we may do from time to time at our discretion), they will operate under similar terms.  

How it works:

If you ordered and selected the default Free Economy delivery service, we have to allow up to 5 working days for the item to arrive THEN allow a further 10 working days. Note that this does not include weekends, bank holidays or days such as "strike" days. 

This can easily add up to 3-4 weeks and while this may seem a long time, this is because if mail is held up in a backlog - the most common cause for delays - or is misdirected (and this often happens because the address given is incorrect or incomplete) then it can take several days to clear or to get back "on track", so if you haven't received your item within 5-7 working days then unfortunately it could take some time. 

Disruption due to the effects of the pandemic is causing serious problems in many countries even now. 

It is important to understand the following:

  • There is absolutely nothing we can do if your item is delayed - the carriers handle tens of millions of items a day so if yours is missing I'm sorry, but nobody is going to go out and look for it. We simply have to wait for it to work it's way through the system. 
  • Tracking numbers won't tell you where your item is or when it will be delivered, or get it there any faster. In fact the only real purpose of tracking numbers is so that the retailer can confirm delivery. 
  • As frustrating as it might be, we can not do anything until the "10 working day" rule has passed, at which point we can file a claim with the carrier and either refund you or replace the item.

Please understand that just as it is for you, it is just as annoying and frustrating, and also time consuming and expensive for us when an item is reported missing - in fact we often lose the goods and the payment where a customer requires a refund, so please do not post arrogant or abusive messages - we don't want your item to be delayed any more than you do, it's not in our interest.

But at the same time there's nothing more we can do - we have no more idea than you do where the item is, and we can't do anything to get it to you any faster - and yes, even "Next Day" Special Delivery items go missing or get delayed from time to time.

Please be patient, allow enough time for potential delays and of course, contact us again at the relevant time (following the '10 Working Day' rule as an absolute minimum), so that we can then file a claim and resolve the matter for you. 

Note that even if the mail service in your area is running smoothly, your mail has to pass through several sorting offices around the country, one or more of which may have problems, so just because that item you ordered from Hull and the one you ordered from Birmingham arrived "on time" doesn't mean everything else will. 

Contacting us

Whenever you do need to contact us please remember, we're a small family business, not an emergency service. We work with limited resources and simply do not have the staff to answer phones and emails at all hours 7 days a week. Regrettably, a small minority of people don't seem to understand that the internet works for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but humans do not.

We operate general office hours

  • Our office hours are typically 8:30 - 6pm weekdays,
  • 9 - 1pm Saturdays.
  • Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays. 

 Additionally, do be aware that we can not accept delivery enquiries or 'Item not received' claims by phone as we require written confirmation. 

You can contact us at enquiries@1stmobile.co.uk - Always include your name, as given on the original order, your order number (this can be found on Order Confirmation and Dispatch emails you received from us) and the date your order was placed. Allow up to 2 working days for a reply and please do not send repeat messages, it is not necessary and will only delay any replies.


Remember if your item is taking longer than you think it should have, there could be a hundred reasons for that. If you've given a valid email address and you've received a dispatch email then your order has been dispatched, Every order is fully guaranteed so in the rare event that it does not arrive, your payment is safe. Do contact us at the correct time following the '10 Working Day' rule if your order does not arrive within the relevant time period.

Thank you, and congratulations if you made it this far!